Arjen Lucassen, interview Nov '09.





One of this yearís striking albums is Guilt Machineís ĎOn This Perfect Dayí. Ayreon-mastermind Arjen Lucassen formed this project with three other musicians (including his new partner Lori Lindstruth), and made an album full of sacred soberness and beautiful intensity. According to Arjen it had to be this way, because heís Ďguilty as chargedí.






Interview Arjen Lucassen

by Michel Schreijen @www.mosltypink.net

November 2009.




[MS]: Hi Arjen, how are you?

[AL]:Hi Michel, Iím doing very well indeed, thanks for asking.


[MS]: What kind of reactions did you received after the release of GUILT MACHINE?

[AL]:We were actually very happy to get many positive reactions from people who donít like Ayreon that much. Most Ayreon fans enjoy the album as well, unless they expect this big over-the-top multi-singer rock opera thing :-) The limited edition was sold out even before the release and we entered the charts here in Holland, so you could say that is an excellent start.


[MS]: And what kind of reactions or success did you get outside The Netherlands?

[AL]: Loads of enthousiastic fanmails from all over the world and practically only good reviews! You can check them here: http://www.ayreon.com/aal/aa_albums_gm.html#reviews


[MS]: Lori wrote all the lyrics. Werenít you involved in writing some lyrics?

[AL]:No, this Time Lori wrote all the lyrics.


[MS]: How did that manage? Wasnít there a moment when her lyrics and your music did not harmonize and some adjustments were needed? After all you always worked alone on your projects (according to writing and producing).

[AL]:Yes, as always this control freak had the final say. Here and there I asked Lori to change some small details, but nothing major.


[MS]: Are all the songs based on personal experience?

[AL]:Lori tried not to write auto-biographical lyrics, she didnít want to bore people with our personal problems. But of course personal experiences have influenced her in writing these lyrics. She hopes a lot of people can identify with the lyrics. We already got many mails of people whoíve been going through similar problems and who weíve been able to help just a bit.


[MS]: Are you more satisfied with GUILT MACHINE than AYREONís ĎZERO ONEí?

[AL]:Yes, this album is much more consistent. Which doesnít mean of course that itís a better album, thatís for the listeners to decide. I guess itís hard to compare the two anyway.


[MS]: Iíve been recently listening to Ď01011001í , and in my opinion itís the perfect finale for the Ayreon-story.

[AL]:Thanks! Yes, as a finale it works perfectly. It has all the typical Ayreon fingerprints from the previous albums.


[MS]: What doesnít make you satisfied?

[AL]:I definitely feel that there were too many singers. I didn't have enough room to fit them all in. I even had to sacrifice instrumental parts and solos. I could have gotten more out of some of the singers if I would have had more space.


[MS]: For example: what do you mean by Ďconsistentí?

[AL]:Ayreon combines many different styles of music, singers and instruments. Guilt Machine has just one singer, three musicians and no weird excursions to exotic, musical styles. So this time no didgeridoos, low flutes, pan pipes, bassoons, etc :-)


[MS]: What kind of bands/artist have inspired you during the composing and producing-

process of GUILT MACHINE?

[AL]: As always my early influences like the Beatles and Pink Floyd.
I will never escape that, even if I wanted to!
And I guess listening to newer bands who have the same roots that (=as) I have.

i'm i a black hole after
each album is finished
into another project.


[MS]: So, who are they?

[AL]:Bands like Porcupine Tree, Devin Townsend, Katatonia, Opeth, Phideaux, Secret Machines etc.


[MS]: There arenít many vintage synthsounds on GUILT MACHINE. How come?

[AL]:Iím already using a lot of vintage synthsounds on Ayreon, and I tried to walk a different path this time, because we wanted this album to have a more modern feel. Having said that, there is a lot of Mellotron, Minimoog and Hammond on Guilt Machine. Just no synth solos, but Loriís guitar soloís.


[MS]: Is there a chance of further collaborations with singer Jasper Steverlinck? He fits

perfect with your productions!

[AL]:I agree! Yes, I would love to work with Jasper again. He did make it clear he doesn't like to sing sci-fi lyrics though.


[MS]: Whatís your meaning about the musical industry and downloading? Did it shatter your career?

[AL]:Not yet, but it will. My only income is from the sales of CDs or payed downloads, since I don't play live. If everyone will illegally download my music in the future, I won't be able to continue in the same way.


[MS]: Whatís up for the future Arjen?

[AL]:I just started working on a new project, possible a Star One. I feel like making some noise again!


[MS]: Thx for your time Arjen, see you the next time.
Michel Schreijen Nov 2009.





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Updated December 2009 by Nick